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Chemist Warehouse/ePharmacy

Digital innovation for Chemist Warehouse/ePharmacy.

In a highly competitive pharmaceutical retail market, Chemist Warehouse/ePharmacy has grown its revenues by 30 per cent in two years and developed digital technologies for all areas of its business.

A key focus has been to digitally integrate back-end supply chain operations to the point of sale.

With digital technologies integrated across its business, Chemist Warehouse/ePharmacy has grown strongly since its launch in March 2000.

Combining traditional and online retailing, the company provides a range of prescription and non-prescription pharmaceutical goods, healthcare and personal products for the domestic market.

Chemist Warehouse/ePharmacy operates in a regulated retail market characterised by an increasing concentration of retail power, high barriers to entry, price sensitivity and strong demand for reliability in on-time delivery – particularly in pharmaceutical products.

There is also pressure on the retail sector driven by cheaper imports, ever-changing consumer expectations and evolving online buying habits.

This changing market landscape requires differentiation and the need for greater economies of scale and innovation in both supply chain management and customer service.

Despite the downturn in the Australian retail sector, Chemist Warehouse/ePharmacy increased its revenue by 30 per cent in the two years to July 2012.The company focused on developing digital technologies for all areas of the business, including marketing, customer awareness and engagement, ordering, stock control, warehousing, suppliers, distribution and delivery.

The customer experience and relationship is at the core of the company’s operations. It is delivered via:

  • A comprehensive and evolving digital strategy.

  • A streamlined, interactive online experience for customers, leveraging a range of digital technologies integrated across the supply chain.

  • An operating model and internal governance system that is responsive to changes in digital technologies and ensures consistency in customer service and reliability of supply.

  • The application of data and technology infrastructure required to compete successfully.

Chemist Warehouse/ePharmacy co-owner Brett Clark said: “The enhanced customer experience and the company’s success has been largely built on the adoption of critical digital technologies in the back-end of the business – processes and systems that sit behind and support the customer interface.

“Information and data transfer has been greatly enhanced between the various components of the supply chain, such as with suppliers, stock control, distribution, ordering and delivery.

The retail industry, including the chemist sector, expects to experience ongoing challenges from the high Australian dollar and the increased use of new digital online customer interfaces via smart phones and tablet applications.

In response, Chemist Warehouse/ePharmacy will evolve its digital strategy to ensure it is prepared to adapt to the changing market demands through applications and promotions as well as improvements to its Customer Relationship Management systems (CRM).

These systems will improve the real-time digital information loop and the relationship between customers and the company by integrating and linking customer information to back-end supply management.

They will also provide multiple points of engaging with and informing the customer of product and service opportunities.

The continued integration of digital technologies in the business will improve decision-making and support ongoing improvement in all aspects of the company’s operations, systems, products and services.

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